‘I cannot praise staff enough’

Elliot Bourne was treated at Whipps Cross Hospital with Covid-19

I was picked up by an ambulance after my wife called 999 and the paramedics discovered that my lungs were working at 40% capacity.

This was a shock, as I am normally fit and healthy, with no underlying health conditions. Even more surprisingly, upon instant checks at Whipps Cross Hospital it was discovered that I had severe pneumonia. I was admitted to an isolation ward. It took a further three days until I had confirmation of what we were all fearing – that I had Covid-19.

I was put onto an oxygen machine and remained on this for seven days while my temperature, coughing and breathing difficulties subsided. My family were extremely worried when they found out. It was originally thought that I had fought off the virus and could go home, but tests proved the pneumonia had taken a toll on my respiratory system, so I would have to use an oxygen machine until I was strong enough to breathe on my own again. Being isolated was difficult as my family and friends were not able to come and see me, but the doctors and nurses helped to manage my anxieties and made me feel at ease.

I was lucky enough to not need to be placed on a ventilator and I spent the majority of my stay at hospital in isolation on the Nightingale ward, rather than in intensive care. I cannot praise the staff at Whipps Cross enough, they truly are heroes! I am indebted to them and to my friends, my family and my faith. All enabled me to keep my spirits high as I went through this traumatic experience.

The doctors and nurses involved in my care said that the only thanks they needed was my recovery, but I feel that this isn’t enough. They made a traumatic and frightening experience easier to deal with.

I am much better now and on my way to complete recovery. Mentally I’m dealing with the trauma of it all, and physically I’m slowly getting back to my fitness, but with the support of those close to me I know I will be able to fully recover.

My advice to anyone reading this is to take the virus very seriously. Stay inside and follow government guidance but most importantly, try to keep your spirits high, keep in constant contact with your loved ones, and stay safe.